Aug 262010
 

I have a 1995 Ford Mustang GT. I Drive it everyday and today It just cranks and cranks and smells like fuel. Has been running fine with no problems what so ever. I change the oil regularly and perform regular maintenance. It has about 142,000 miles on it and about 12,000 on the spark plugs, wires, cap and rotor. It seems to be getting plenty of gas but no spark. What could be my problem?

Response:

The most common reason for this would be the spark trigger in the distributor. You can replace it yourself if you feel comfortable removing the distributor. If you do not, have it replaced for you at your local repair shop. You can either have the entire distributor replaced or just the trigger inside the distributor.

Aug 192010
 

MONTEREY, Calif. — Ford Motor Co. is giving a $50 Ford gift card to buyers of the 2011 Ford Fiesta who have had to wait longer than expected for their vehicles to be delivered.

Ford spokeswoman Angie Kozleski confirmed that the company was giving the MasterCard gift cards to customers who ordered the new Fiesta, calling it “a token of our appreciation for their patience.”

Ford couldn’t disclose how many cards it is distributing, but said retail customers who reserved or placed an order for the new Fiesta would receive one.

Fiestas have been slow to get to dealerships after a hurricane that hit Mexico in June crippled rail lines used to ship vehicles made at Ford’s plant in Cuautitlan, near Mexico City. Ford has sold 4,377 Fiestas this year, including 3,349 last month.

“We’ve got about 6,500 to 7,000 in transit to dealers. In a couple to three months, we ought to have the availability to support the kind of demand you see in a B-car category,” Ford sales analyst George Pipas said in a conference call with journalists last week.

Kozleski said Fiestas have been delivered to Ford dealerships in every state in the continental United States.

It’s unclear the extent of the shipping delays. But at last week’s unveiling here of the 2012 Mustang Boss 302, President of the Americas Mark Fields acknowledged that the rail lines used to ship the cars were still damaged.

Aug 122010
 

Buoyed by the Wrangler and the redesigned 2011 Grand Cherokee, Jeep brand sales rose 19 percent in July, pacing Chrysler Group to a 5 percent gain for the month.

It was the automaker’s fourth-straight monthly increase. In February, Chrysler ended a streak of 25 consecutive monthly sales declines.

Ram brand truck sales climbed 11 percent in July, while Dodge remained flat and the Chrysler brand dropped 11 percent from a year earlier. Three vehicles set sales records for the month: the Dodge Challenger, Journey and Ram Chassis Cab.

Overall, Chrysler Group’s car sales fell 2 percent, while truck sales were up 7 percent. Trucks continue to dominate the Chrysler mix, accounting for 75 percent of the automaker’s volume and outselling cars – 70,349 to 22,964.

Chrysler spokesman Ralph Kisiel declined to say what percent of the 5,407 Grand Cherokees sold in July were outgoing 2010 models versus the 2011 version, which is just hitting showrooms in volumes. The company put a number of incentives on the departing model to make way for the redesigned edition.

Ram full-sized pickups remained the biggest seller at Chrysler, with 20,138 units in July. That was up 14 percent over July last year, when the automaker had just exited bankruptcy. The Jeep Wrangler was the second biggest seller at 10,043, up 121 percent. The Chrysler Town & Country rose 18 percent to finish third, at 8,083

Aug 042010
 

General Motors Co. plans to bring back mild hybrids next year, said Larry Nitz, GM executive director of hybrid and electric powertrain engineering.

GM discontinued mild hybrids after 2009 when the closing of Saturn left the carmaker with the technology on just one vehicle, the Chevrolet Malibu sedan, Nitz said. It had been available on the Saturn Vue crossover and Saturn Aura sedan as well.

Nitz, who spoke on the sidelines of the seminars here yesterday, said a new, more powerful system will be available in the third quarter of 2011 on at least one mid-sized sedan in North America and one in China.

He declined to name the vehicles, but he said the first-generation mild hybrid system was available in China on the Buick LaCrosse. He wouldn’t discuss the price of the option.

Unlike a full hybrid system, a mild hybrid system cannot propel a vehicle on electric power alone. It acts as a stop-start system, shutting off the gasoline engine when the car stops and then using the batteries to restart the engine when the accelerator is pressed again.

The motor also provides a boost during acceleration.

Nitz also said GM intends to make some of its own electric motors for hybrids instead of buying them all from suppliers.

He said the first GM-made electric motors will be produced in its White Marsh powertrain plant near Baltimore. He said they will be used on the next-generation Two-Mode hybrid technology, which will be an option on future pickups and SUVs.

Nitz called electric motors a core powertrain competency that GM must design and fully understand so it can integrate them into hybrids and plug-in electrics for peak fuel economy and performance.

He declined to reveal when the next-generation Two-Mode hybrids would be introduced. With a Two-Mode, a driver benefits at highway speeds from the electric motor, not just predominantly at starts and stops.

Nitz said GM will reintroduce mild hybrids on its mid-sized sedans with improved technology. They will offer about 20 percent better fuel economy than gasoline engines, he said.

Nitz said the electric motor is improved and the electronics and controllers are fully integrated with the conventional gasoline engine. The system will be wedded to GM’s Ecotech engine and a six-speed transmission capable of maximizing performance and fuel savings, he said.

When the mild hybrid was introduced in the Saturn Vue in 2006, it was bolted onto a four-cylinder engine and four-speed transmission not designed for regenerative braking. That mild hybrid produced a 15 percent improvement in fuel economy.